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Where Marketers Go to Grow

October 31, 2016 // 5:00 AM

From Hilarious to Heartbreaking: 10 of the Best Ads from October

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A dancer sweeps gracefully through a deserted London cityscape. An dinosaur bursts through the ceiling of a night club. A particularly unintelligent looking cat contemplates jumping to a nearby perch.

What do all these different tableaus have in common? They're all featured in creative ads from the past month.

If you've been out of the loop, don't worry -- we've got you covered. Read on to see ten of the most creative, inspiring, and just plain weird ads from the last month. Subscribe to HubSpot's Agency newsletter today.

1) Bose

This mesmerizing spot for Bose's new QuietComfort 35 headphones focuses on a lone dancer (Maëva Berthelot) entrancingly freestyling her way through completely empty London streets. The ad is set to "Alchemy" by London-based electro R&B artist TĀLĀ.

So how exactly were they able to film in some of London's busiest areas, completely devoid of people, cars, and other distractions? Grey London, the agency behind the ad, managed to block off pedestrians and traffic flow for a few minutes at a time -- just enough for them to film the takes they needed. They used an aerial helicopter for the sweeping images of the city, which was understandably subject to strict airspace regulations.

"This wasn't easy to produce," Grey London's executive creative director Dominic Goldman told AdWeek. "Most of this was captured in camera with minimal clean-up in post." The end result is a truly magnetic, gorgeous ad you'll definitely want to watch more than once.

2) Chatbooks

The agency behind the explosively viral Squatty Potty pooping unicorn ad has struck again. This time, the Harmon Brothers are lending their unique comedic perspective to Chatbooks, a subscription-based photo printing service that converts your smart phone snaps into photo albums.

The extended spot is intended to introduce consumers to Chatbooks for the first time, but the Harmon Brother's wanted to steer clear of a typical infomercial tone. Instead, the product is explained by a hilariously "real" mom (played by actress Lisa Valentine Clark), who juggles garbage disposal mishaps, potty training, and crossbow-wielding children with unflappable optimism.

3) Gusto

Being an HR manager at a small company is hard. Gusto, an HR software startup, wanted to give a shout out to all the HR managers who deftly manage 100+ responsibilities on a daily basis in their first ad campaign. They enlisted the help of Erich & Kallman, a new ad agency based in San Francisco, to make that vision come to life.

In a spot-on casting choice, actress and comedian Kristen Schaal was hired to portray the typical HR manager. Her quirky charm and self-possessed nature perfectly encapsulate the profession, and she hilariously swaps into different outfits and personas to accommodate various employee requests.

4) The Hospital for Sick Children

Canadian agency Cossette produced this captivating and emotionally powerful extended ad campaign for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Set to a pounding anthem ("Undeniable" by Donnie Daydream), the spot imagines sick children as fighters -- medieval warriors, comic book heroes, athletes -- combatting their illnesses with an unparalleled ferocity and unshakable spirit.

Part of a larger fundraising campaign for the Canadian hospital, the ad stars over 50 actual patients, along with their families, doctors, and nurses. It's an inspiring departure from traditional ads concerning childhood illness, and is perhaps even more forceful for it.

5) Canary

Imagine you leave the kids with a babysitter to go see a movie -- what could possibly go wrong? This ad for home security startup Canary imagines exactly that.

In the spot, one messy disaster strikes after another. The babysitter invites her sketchy boyfriend over for a make-out session, the girls run an overflowing bubble bath for the family cat, and one of the kids decides it's the perfect time to take the car out for an experimental spin -- which, as you might imagine, doesn't end too well for the garage door.

Developed by CP+B Miami, the ad gets a boost from director Peter Atencio's eye for perfect comedic timing (he directs Comedy Central's sketch show Key & Peele). It's a disastrously good time.

6) Dollar Shave Club

This spot for Dollar Shave Club presents more a palatable, normal-guy alternative to the hyper-masculine products that dominate the male grooming industry.

In the ad, a man shopping with his girlfriend picks out a shower gel called "Massive Hero," which promises "a fully jacked amino protein delivery system." With perfect timing, a body builder enters the same aisle -- the ideal consumer for the ultra-manly product. He picks up "Massive Hero" and inexplicably begins to flex and scream.

The hilarious, 30-second spot was created in-house at Dollar Shave Club by Alex Karpovsky (a writer/director/actor you might have seen on HBO's Girls) and designer/musician Teddy Blanks.

7) The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

It's rare that an ad makes us stop for a minute in silent contemplation, but its impossible to come away from this short film for The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival without a lump in your throat.

Set to "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables, the film was created pro-bono by DDB New York as part of a larger campaign to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and global biodiversity protection. Zombie Studio produced the animation for the spot, which features a cast of uniquely expressive animals and sinister humans.

Warning: This will make you cry.

8) Pine Sol

In this new series of spots for Pine Sol cleaning products by experience design agency Critical Mass, the cleaning product company sticks to what they know: how to clean things, and nothing else.

Each of the campaign's 16-second ads highlight a brief moment of uncertainty: Will the cat jump on the table? Will the big date go well? Will Jared meet his 401k goals? The narrator makes it clear that Pine Sol definitely doesn't have the answers to these questions -- but they do know how to clean your stuff (hint: with Pine Sol).

9) Asus ZenFone 3

What happens when you ask ordinary people on the street to direct a commercial for your product? Well, it starts on a beach, and then things get pretty weird.

The folks at creative agency SuperHeroes enlisted the help of Matt Rubano and Betsy Kenney (members of Upright Citizens Brigade, the famous improv troupe) to ask random people on the street to come up with the plot of an ad for the new Asus ZenFone 3. The resulting spot includes dinosaurs, aliens, and an international car model named "Renaldo" saving the day at a night club.

10) Hornbach

If you've ever attempted a big do-it-yourself project, you know there are usually some big ups and downs. In this ad for German home improvement chain Hornbach, agency Heimat presents an unexpected metaphor for big DIY undertakings: rolling down a mountainside, naked.

The ad starts with a man beginning to dig a pond in his backyard, and we simultaneously follow his progression sliding through varied mountain terrains. At times, the grass is soft and inviting, and his progress is smooth -- but there are some definite bumps along the way.

Have you seen any great ads lately? Let us know in the comments.

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Topics: Marketing Agency

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